Inside Notre Dame's Fighting Irish by Jason O'Mahony
Gunner Kiel commits to Notre Dame.
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM
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|Five Star QB Gunner Kiel|
The nation's top-rated quarterback out of high school, who verbally committed to Indiana last summer and three weeks ago said he would play at LSU, is enrolled at ND.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Kiel, who graduated last month from Columbus (Ind.) East High, committed to Indiana last summer before backing out of that pledge in October. Kiel in late December said he would attend LSU and enroll at the school for the spring semester.
When Kiel failed to show up for a pre-spring semester meeting at LSU on Monday, speculation began to surface that he was looking at another school, most likely Notre Dame.
“This recruitment process was a roller-coaster ride at times, but I know I have made the right decision for my family and me,” Kiel said. “There were three critical elements I was looking for in my future school: the quality of education I would receive, the distance from home and the comfort level I would have with the players and coaches in the football program. Notre Dame was the perfect fit for me because it hit all three areas.
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“Coach Kelly was great throughout my recruitment, as many times our conversations had nothing do with football. That really showed me he had my best intentions in mind. He was persistent yet also patient while recruiting me and I look forward to playing for him the next four years. I couldn’t be happier to be a member of the Fighting Irish football team. I’m excited about the future of the program.”
Kiel will battle returnees Tommy Rees, who started the final 12 games of the 2011 season, Andrew Hendrix, who played significant minutes in the final two games of the season, and Everett Golson, who did not play in 2011.
This season, Kiel earned the state's Gatorade Player of the Year Award, and earlier this month participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. At Columbus East this season, he threw for 2,517 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also ran for 482 yards and 11 touchdowns.